BY APB STAFF on 18 Jan 2022

Hong Kong was the leading yacht market amid Covid restrictions

A Sanlorenzo SL78 on charter in Hong Kong

Simpson Marine, one of Asia’s biggest yacht dealerships and services companies, announced 135 new and pre-owned yacht sales in 2021, a 20% rise from 2020. The company reported that 2021 was the best-ever year for yacht sales in the nearly 40-year history of the company, which was founded in 1984 by Mike Simpson.

The announcement comes amid a sustained global boom in yacht sales, driven in part by lockdowns and Covid-related travel restrictions, and by rising wealth. Mike Simpson noted that there were numerous first-time buyers in the yacht market in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has remained one of Asia’s busiest places for yacht sales, with yachting activity largely unaffected by Covid restrictions, unlike Southeast Asian countries that have suffered downturns in tourism, especially in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

Read: Mike Simpson on Asia’s new yachting scene

The company reports substantial growth in all business activities including new yacht sales, brokerage, yacht charter, yacht management and services.

Simpson Marine is the exclusive dealer for Sanlorenzo yachts in the Asia-Pacific, and 2021 was a particularly good year for the Italian brand. Simpson reported sales in most models, notably the largest Sanlorenzo sold into Asia, the 52Steel, due to launch in summer 2022.

The flagship motor yacht for Lagoon, the Seventy 8, is due to arrive in Hong Kong in 2022

Simpson Marine also represents the Beneteau and Lagoon yacht brands and reported good sales for both names. The new Beneteau flagship, the Grand Trawler 62, is due to arrive in Asia in early 2022. Also due to arrive in Hong Kong in early 2022 is the flagship of the Beneteau sailing fleet, the Oceanis Yacht 62.

Read: Spotlight – Beneteau Grand Trawler 62

Aquila Power Catamarans enjoyed several sales into Asia in 2021, including the flagship Aquila 70, which was picked up by an Indonesian buyer.

Yacht charter goes domestic

As a result of travel restrictions, international charter activity declined while domestic-based charter picked up substantially. Simpson said that in 2021, 900 day-charters and 40 overnight charters were booked in Hong Kong.

Thailand, hit hard by a steep drop in international tourism, saw the charter market fall off. Simpson reported 500 days of charter in 2021, mostly made up in short-term charters for local clients. A policy of opening the country back up to travellers at the end of 2021 resulted in more long-term charter bookings at the end of the year in Phuket and Pattaya, according to the company.

Singapore, Malaysia and China, which have had restrictive cross-border travel policies, local charters are becoming popular among residents, according to the company.